Yes, I made the mistake! I have a compulsion for feeding animals and birds but was warned – don’t feed the raccoons. Why? Because they will end up bringing their buddies and babies along for the food train ride. I did not listen and every night I fed Mama handfuls and handfuls of peanuts.
Then the ritual stopped. Mama did not come around for a few weeks. But, one morning about about 1:30 am I heard an animal screaming repeatedly. I ran to the back yard to see what the commotion was all about. It was Mama, making all kinds of noises with four little babies in tow, the sweetest baby raccoons who waddled along behind her.
Now I had a whole family to feed every night, five raccoons that would rush to the door to call me out. One night I noticed two of the babies limping, one extremely bad. It was actually dragging its body with just its front legs.
This raccoon with a disability prompted me to call wildlife rehabilitators. I was told it probably had rabies, or perhaps it got hit by a car and broke its spine. It must be put to sleep.
I refused to catch it and hand it over. I decided to keep the baby raccoon alive for as long as possible so that it could at least experience some life.
All the other raccoon babies and Mama has stopped coming around, and my guess is someone in the community had them trapped and took them away. I missed Mama, because I loved the way she bowed her head every time I came out with food. I loved the way she picked up the food with her hands and ate like a human and how she passed food along to her babies. Yes, to my amazement, Mama would eat and pass along food. Mama was a darling. I hope she is OK
But Babalooski (that’s what I named the crippled baby) kept returning by herself, dragging and dragging herself to the back door night after night after night for a few months. How she managed to climb over the fences and rock wall was beyond me.
I bought her tasty treats: shelled walnuts by the cans and all types of premium cat foods and even avocados. She would eat and then pass out, hanging around for hours down in the corner of one of my back porches.
A few months went by, and I noticed Babalooski standing and eating one night. And then a few days later she was walking on both legs – slowly, and with a limp – but walking. It was incredible. Almost miraculous..I was ecstatic with joy!
One thing I learned from this: never ever EVER discount the recuperative powers of animals. They seem much more resilient than humans, they heal from wounds much better and can adjust to any type of adversity that comes their way.
Babalooski is still getting better, bigger and stronger. Probably she will never have a normal raccoon life climbing trees and stealing foods from Humans, but she is happy and she’ll never die of starvation.
But the hard part is to come, I have to find Babalooski a home, because this sweet timid animal is totally dependent on me for food. I have to travel a lot and Babalooski, after all her trials and tribulations in life, deserves only the best.